Food writer and food stylist
I adore Nigel Slater for both his writing and his recipes, the Kitchen Diary books speak to me so strongly about the way I cook at home, but something about the way Slater makes even the most simple hunk of bread and cheese sound is truly magical. If ever I need inspiration for what to cook i grab one of this series of books at random and see what Slater cooked around the day in question. Invariably i then get lost in his words and the surrouding recipes and loose track of time but i alwasy alwasy come away inspired. I know I am cheating putting all three together, and this wouldn't be allowed on Desert Island Discs, but i'm greedy.
Food stylist and magazine food editor
I could have named any of Nigel Slaters books but I've chosen this one because I once stood in a queue waiting to purchase the book and found myself crying over one of the introductions, and that is what makes Mr Slater such in incredible writer. He can raise the humble cheese sandwich, baked apple or garlicky casserole to such a revelatory experience with a few magical words that you not only want to dive into the kitchen and get to work, but perhaps also, be invited around to his place for tea and a chat!
There’s never a boring meal at Mr Slater's house. No baked beans on toast for him on a weeknight when he staggers in the door late and tired. Slater is the master of the simple, tasty idea that really does transform dinner from pedestrian to palatable. I chose the Diaries over other books, such as Eat, Tender or Appetite, because in a diary, written in the first person, you get a sense of getting to know someone. Plus, he writes in such a lovely, engaging way.
Editor, Observer Food Monthly,
A declaration of interest: I have edited Nigel Slater's work in the Observer for 16 years, the first to see the weekly column that has made him the country's best loved cookery writer. But before that I collected his recipes, tore them out, and still have many stuck between other book's pages. This though is my favourite. The purest pleasure to read. Open it on any page. Effortless. The most gifted writer of his brilliant generation.
Farmer's market organizer
Raising the bar on using sustainable, seasonal ingredients this book did what many of us aspire to do, shop at farmers markets and small shops and cook spontaneously without a shopping list. As Nigel has done it for us, we just need to follow the recipes. What makes this book more personal for me is knowing that he's shopping at farmers markets I run, buying from farmers I know.
Blogger and cookbook author
A complete joy to read. I regularly find myself getting home and checking the date in this book (and Kitchen Diaries II and III) for inspiration. It changed the way I shop, and stocked my pantry. Slater writes evocatively about accessible ingredients, and his recipes are thoughtful and delicious. I love all of his books, but this is a precious favourite.
Blogger at Raining Sideways
All the books I have chosen live on my kitchen shelves and are well thumbed and oft used so I cannot imagine the list complete without Nigel Slater, one of my favourite food writers. I frequently find myself reaching for his Diaries, too tired to think after a particularly busy farming day. He never lets me down!
Founder/Director of The Food Awards Company
I have volumes 1 and 3, the latter given to me by my 19-year old son who is a dedicated cook. I love the gentle pace through the year, the elegiac writing and beautiful photography. It makes me want to be with Nigel in his garden eating goat's cheese salad as the sun goes down, or whatever it may be.
The first cookbook to make me think about seasonal cooking, and in terms of my gain as well as wider reasons. The genuine quality of his enthusiasm is infectious. This book first taught me the elegance of simplicity and the joy of either high or low brow cooking so long as it matches the moment.
Combines what Nigel does best, exquisite food writing to savour with recipes you want to make. The intimate diary approach - taking you through his food year - is the perfect form, with his writing evoking vividly the textures, flavours and appearance of food in the most pleasurable way.
Food writer and editor
By definition a seasonal cookbook, Slater’s Kitchen Diaries take you through his very own food year. The result: a cookbook that is all about the joy of impromptu, ingredient-led eating and about home-cooking the way we all want it to be in our own kitchens.
The book that created a thousand copy cats. It's beautiful, tactile and written evocatively. I'm not sure I've actually cooked anything directly from it. But I turn to it more often than any other, as inspiration for what to cook when.
Chef, author and blogger
Whenever I feel uninspired, I love to turn to the same date in Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries and cook something similar. All of his recipes work. He has exquisite food instincts and a down to earth, seasonal approach.
Editor and writer
Pretty much all Nigel Slater's books are outstanding but, if pushed to choose one, I'd go for this. It perfectly captures the rhythms of his cooking and every recipe simply demands to be eaten.
Blogger, Wholesome Cook
This recipe book is more like a gentle introduction to seasonal eating intertwined with stories from Mr Slater's kitchen, garden and life. I simply could not put it down.
Founder and co-CEO of Hubbub
I love that it's organised by month; a great source of seasonal inspiration any time of year. Stand out dish: pork meatballs with lemon and anchovies.
Food writer, Chef and owner of Hahnemannns Køkken
One of the books I wish I had written, full of love for food, a long story about cooking with recipes.
Group Editor, The World's 50 Best Restaurants
An obvious choice, but Slater still stands out for his intelligent and original writing about food.
Evocative writing and inspiring seasonal recipes bound to a kitchen garden we all wish we had.
A tribute to the joys of seasonal eating, and a masterclass in how to put a meal together.
Writer and broadcaster
I love this and 10 years on, I still browse through it for seasonal inspiration.
Food stylist and food writer
For the dreamy, evocative food writing and lovely photographs.
Food presenter, writer and eater
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